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Australia looks to spoil McCullum’s farewell

A series win in New Zealand will make Steven Smith’s side the No. 1 in in the ICC Test rankings

Australia looks to spoil McCullum’s farewell - Cricket News
Brendon Mccullum in action against Sri Lanka.
All eyes will be on Brendon McCullum even as New Zealand looks to square the series in the second and final Test against Australia starting Saturday (February 20) in Christchurch.
 
New Zealand will look to give McCullum, its captain, a fitting farewell in what will be his final international match. The home side already gave McCullum a memorable exit from One-Day Internationals earlier this month when it defeated Australia to win the three-match series 2-1.
 
Australia too has plenty to play for. If it wins the series, Australia will topple India to be the No. 1 Test side in the ICC rankings to add to its No. 1 ranking in ODIs.
 
Australia leads the series after a crushing innings-and-52-run win in Wellington. The bowlers skittled out New Zealand for just 183 in under two sessions on the first day and then the batsmen took over. Usman Khawaja made 140 and Adam Voges scored 239 as Australia made merry to set up the massive victory, despite an improved performance from New Zealand's batsmen in the second innings. 
 
New Zealand will look up to the likes of Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and McCullum himself to lift themselves and lead the recovery in the crucial game. 


 
The home side's batsmen struggled in the first Test but the team will be hoping the green Christchurch pitch will suit its pacers. The wicket had a considerable green hue when the two sides looked at it on Thursday, adding more importance to winning the toss. 
 
There are injury concerns for both sides ahead of the second Test. Peter Siddle has been ruled out with a back problem while Doug Bracewell has a shoulder injury. James Pattinson, who missed the first Test, has been named to replace Siddle, while Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird are the other seamers in the Australia side. New Zealand, meanwhile, will replace Bracewell with either Neil Wagner or Matt Henry.
 
New Zealand has not lost a series at home since 2012 and will want to protect that record, more so for McCullum. Australia, though, will do all it can to spoil the party.
 
Teams
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee, Mark Craig, Trent Boult, Mark Henry/Neil Wagner.

Australia: David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.

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